Today I’m delighted to feature author Anne Stormont. Anne writes contemporary romantic fiction where the main characters are older but not necessarily wiser. She hopes the stories she tells will entertain, but she also hopes they will move, challenge and inspire her readers. She has written three novels so far – Change of Life, was her first. This was followed by the Skye series of three novels Displacement, Settlement and the newly published Fulfilment.
Anne is a Scot, living in the land of her birth. She’s a retired teacher and when she’s not writing, she’s a compulsive crossworder, yoga practitioner, avid reader, keen walker and gardener. She also loves spending time with friends and family – especially her three grandchildren.
Anne has travelled all over the world and has visited every continent except Antarctica – somewhere she really should go considering her penchant for penguins.
She can be a bit of a subversive old bat, but she tries to maintain a kind heart.
Over to Anne
Which 5 pieces of music/songs would you include in the soundtrack to your life and why?
Bruch’s Violin Concerto is one of the pieces of music that stands out from my childhood. It was a favourite of my late father’s and he often played the record (an actual vinyl 33rpm disc) he had of it on the radiogram that had pride of place in our living-room. Yes, I just gave away the era I grew up in. If you don’t know what a radiogram is – ask your grandparents. Anyway listening to this piece of music nowadays takes me right back to the house I grew up in in Edinburgh and it reminds me of my working-class, down-to-earth, tradesman dad’s softer side.
Tapestry by Carole King takes me back to my teenage and student years in the 1970s. I remember thinking, when I listened to it back then, how cool it would be to look back on my own life and see it had been a tapestry of rich and royal hue just like it says in the song. And yes, it too was an LP on a real black disc and I played it on my state-of-the-art portable record player.
Love is in the Air by John Paul Young was in the charts in 1977, the year I met my husband, and it was played for the first dance at our wedding the following year. It still makes me go all romantic when I hear it over forty years later – even seems to affect Mr S that way too.
One Day Like This by Elbow is such an uplifting song and always makes me feel better – especially the live recording the band made with the BBC orchestra. It also reminds me of my drive to work when I lived in the north of the island of Skye and taught at the primary school in Portree, the island’s main town – happy days.
And speaking of happy, I’d have to include Happy by Pharrell Williams as it reminds me of dancing with my grandchildren and because, yes, you guessed it – it makes me feel happy.
Highlight five things (apart from family and friends) you would find it hard to live without.
My glasses: I’ve needed glasses since I was a child. For many years I wore contact lenses but then my eyes rejected them and it was back to specs. Nowadays I have vari-focals – which I love as it means I don’t have to constantly swap between reading and distance glasses. They’re the first thing I put on in the morning and the last thing I take off at night.
Post-its: I love lists. My life revolves round them and post-it notes are my go-to kind of stationery for making my lists – all shapes, sizes, and colours. I plan everything from the week’s meals to whole novels on them. They’re plastered everywhere -on my desk, on the noticeboard above it, on the fridge, inside notebooks …
My phone: Even if I didn’t have my desktop PC, or my Kindle, I would survive as long as I had my mobile phone. Yes, I use it to email, text and make calls, but I can also listen to my music on it, read e-books on it, make notes (and yes, lists) on it, I can even do some of my book writing on it. And then there are all those video calls with my grandchildren on the other side of the world in Australia.
Daily walk: My daily 60 minute (or more) walk is good for me in lots of ways. There’s the obvious physical benefits of regular exercise – especially for someone who sits at a desk so much. But apart from that, walking keeps me (what passes for) sane. I find that while I walk, my brain goes off on a wander of its own.
Tea: I’ve been a tea drinker since I was a child. It was my granny that first got me drinking it and she added lots of sugar as well as milk and it was leaf tea made in a teapot. Nowadays it’s teabags for convenience, but preferably made in pot – and I prefer it black with no sugar. I drink it with breakfast, lunch and after dinner. I also enjoy herbal varieties such as chamomile or raspberry. And it has to be Earl Grey on the rare but much enjoyed occasions when I have a proper afternoon tea.
Can you offer 5 pieces of advice you’d give to your younger self?
Don’t wait so long to start writing – seize the day and get on with it.
Don’t waste time worrying what others think of you – you can’t please all of the people.
You are stronger than you think.
Trust your gut
You’ll only regret the things you didn’t do.
Tell us 5 things that most people don’t know about you.
I’m often paralyzed from overthinking and anxiety
Although I’m left-handed, I can’t use scissors in my left hand.
I still have a baby tooth – front left top incisor.
I take a size 2 in a shoe – but I am only 4 foot 11 inches (1.52m) tall
I learned to swim age 58-and-a-half years.
Tell us 5 things you’d like to do or achieve.
I would like to write several/lots more books
I want to walk the West Highland Way (in Scotland)
I’d like to get my music organised into coherent playlists
I’d love to visit Orkney
I want to be able to do the shoulder stand (salamba sarvangsana) in yoga.
Many thanks for sharing with us today Anne, although we’ve had little ‘chats’ via social media it’s lovely to discover more about the inner you. Delighted to see Elbow in your music choices, one of my favourite groups and I love that record too. You’re very good, going walking every day. It’s something I should do, but don’t, hopefully it won’t be something I come to regret – I agree it’s the things you don’t do that you rue. Well done on learning to swim as an older adult – you’re clearly very determined. Something that will no doubt see you tackle the West Highland Way at some point. Good luck with the other items on your list, I’m sure that shoulder stand will come!
Anne’s books are available online and from bookshops and are in paperback and ebook formats
Be careful what you wish for…
Wife to heart surgeon and control freak, Tom, and mother to four adolescent children, Rosie feels taken for granted as she juggles family life and her work as a teacher. She longs for a change of life.
When she hits a teenage boy with her car, her life explodes into uncharted territory. The boy is Robbie – and Rosie discovers he is part of a terrible secret that Tom has kept for seventeen years. Then Rosie is diagnosed with breast cancer.
Rosie leaves home and begins the fight for her life. Meanwhile Tom, is forced to learn what it means to be a husband and father. He struggles to keep his family together and strives to get his wife back.
Divorce, the death of her soldier son and estrangement from her daughter, leave Scottish writer and crofter, Rachel Campbell, grief-stricken, lonely and lost.
Forced retirement leaves former Edinburgh policeman Jack Baxter needing to find a new direction for his life.
When Rachel meets Jack in dramatic circumstances on a wild winter’s night on the island of Skye, a friendship develops, despite very different personalities. Gradually their feelings for each other go beyond friendship. Something neither of them feels able to admit. And it seems unlikely they’ll get the chance to because Rachel is due to leave for several months to visit family in Israel – where she aims to re-root and reroute her life.
Set against the contrasting and dramatic backdrops of the Scottish island of Skye and the contested country of Israel-Palestine, Displacement is a story of life-affirming courage and love where romance and realism met head on.
Can love truly heal old wounds? Can the past ever be put peacefully to rest?
If you like a complex, grown-up romance with lots of raw emotion, dramatic and exotic settings, all mixed in with some international politics and laced with elements of a crime thriller, then this is the book for you.
Falling in love is the easy bit. Happy ever after requires work, commitment and honesty.
She wants him to be her friend and lover. He wants her as his wife. Can a compromise be reached? Or are things truly over between them?
When former Edinburgh policeman Jack Baxter met crofter and author Rachel Campbell at her home on the Scottish island of Skye, they fell in love. It was a second chance at happiness for them both.
But after Jack proposes marriage, it becomes clear they want different things.
Then, as Rachel prepares to return to the Middle East to work on a peacemaking project that’s close to her heart, and as Jack’s past catches up with him, it seems their relationship is doomed.
Can Rachel compromise on her need to maintain her hard-won independence?
Can Jack survive the life-threatening situation in which he finds himself?
Will they get the chance to put things right between them?
Settlement is the sequel to literary romance novel, Displacement, but it can be read as a stand-alone.
The path of true love rarely runs smoothly…
When former Edinburgh police detective Jack Baxter met local author and crofter Rachel Campbell on the Scottish island of Skye, they fell in love. It was a second chance at happiness for both of them.
They both had emotional baggage. Jack helped Rachel cope with unimaginable grief after the death in combat of her soldier son, and Rachel was there for Jack after a criminal with a grudge almost ended his life. There were many bumps along the road but they believed they’d worked through and settled their differences.
However, Jack is struggling. Still suffering from post-traumatic stress, haunted by his past, and taunted by the demons of self-doubt, he feels Rachel deserves better.
Meanwhile, Rachel is busy preparing for the launch of her latest book – a book in honour of her son and aimed at promoting peace. So at first she fails to notice just how troubled Jack is.
Can Jack overcome his demons?
Can Rachel convince Jack he deserves to be loved?
Can they finally resolve their differences and fulfil their dreams together?
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